Buenos Aires is a city of 15 millions inhabitants. During the morning rush hour, the traffic is very congested and vehicles move like snails in the city’s many one-way streets. I have been living in the Hollywood / Palermo area for the past month, about 5 or six miles away from the central business district (Viamonte, where my Spanish school is located at). Although I have been relying on Taxi (much faster and more convenient than public transportation) as my primary mode of transportation, I also took several rides on the famous Buenos Aires Bus.
The bus line 140 is around the corner from where I live. The buses are old and noisy and unreliable. Sometimes, I wait for good half hour and see nothing. And, all the sudden, three 140 buses show up all together.
But, the buses are funny and worthwhile experience, particularly from a person who is used to getting around the city by driving. As each bus company is an individual entity, the buses really have “personalities” and have unique decorations around the driver seats area because the bus is the office and part-time home for the drivers.
I have some photos to show you that. Some drivers have taped shinny CDs to the top of the ceiling while other placed toys (some with bobble heads) on the dashboard. When the driver is a football fan, he often drapes the flags of his favorite football teams and/or Argentina right under the cash-register, which is heavily padded by a thick layer of red carpet and feels like a new born baby. And, the coin box, which is old and cranky and only accepts coins, has occasionally displayed hilarious messages, e.g. 7777 (for 0000), or 6666.
Here is a link to the Buenos Aires Bus system.